Crimean Goths were Greuthungi-Gothic tribes who remained in the lands around the Black Sea, especially in Crimea. They were the least-powerful, least-known, and the longest-lasting of the Gothic communities. Their existence is well attested through the ages though the exact period when they ceased to exist as a distinct culture is unknown; as with the Goths in general, they may have been diffused with the surrounding peoples. In the Fourth Turkish letter by Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, they are described as "a warlike people, who to this day inhabit many villages" though in the 5th century, Theodoric the Great failed to rouse Crimean Goths to support his war in Italy. At the time, it was customary to refer to a wide range of Germanic tribes as "Goths", so the exact ethnic origin of the Germanic peoples in Crimea is a subject of debate.
Aside from textual reports of the existence of the Goths in Crimea, both first and second hand, from as early as 850, numerous archaeological examples also exist, including the ruins of the former capital city of the Crimean Goths: Doros, or Mangup as it is now known. On top of this, there are numerous articles of jewelry, weaponry, shields, buttons, pins, and small personal artifacts on display in museums in Crimea and in the British Museum which have led to a better understanding of the Gothic Kingdom.
In the report made by Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq in 1595 of the Crimean Goths, he claims to not be able to determine whether the Germanic peoples of Crimea were Goths or Saxons, certainly the language cannot be directly linked to the well-attested Gothic language. Though most scholars agree the peoples must have been of Gothic origin, some others have maintained that the so-called "Crimean Goths" were in fact West or even North Germanic tribes who settled in Crimea, culturally and linguistically influenced by the Ostrogoths.
According to Herwig Wolfram, following Jordanes, the Ostrogoths had a huge kingdom north of the Black Sea in the 4th century, which the Huns overwhelmed in the time of the Gothic king Ermanaric (or Hermanric; i.e. "king of noblemen"[note 1]) when the Huns migrated to the Ukrainian steppe.
According to Peter Heather and Michael Kulikowski, the Ostrogoths did not even exist until the 5th century, when they emerged from other Gothic and non-Gothic groups. Other Gothic groups may have settled in Crimea. It has also been speculated that the Crimean Goths were in fact Saxons escaping Christian persecution from the west, or North Germanic tribes who migrated southwards. Either way, the existence of Goths in Crimea is first testified from around the 3rd century, and after that they were well reported.
During the late 5th and early 6th century, the Crimean Goths had to fight off hordes of Huns who were migrating back eastward after losing control of their European empire. In the 5th century, Theodoric the Great tried to recruit Crimean Goths for his campaigns in Italy, but few showed interest in joining him.
The Principality of Gothia or Theodoro formed after the Fourth Crusade out of parts of the Byzantine thema of Klimata which were not occupied by the Genoese. Its population was a mixture of Greeks, Crimean Goths, Alans, Bulgars, Kipchaks and other nations, which confessed Orthodox Christianity. The principality's official language was Greek. The territory was initially under the control of Trebizond, and possibly part of its Crimean possessions, the Perateia.
Many Crimean Goths were Greek speakers and many non-Gothic Byzantine citizens were settled in the region called "Gothia" by the government in Constantinople. A Gothic principality around the stronghold of Doros (modern Mangup), the Principality of Theodoro, continued to exist through various periods of vassalage to the Byzantines, Khazars, Kipchaks, Mongols, Genoese and other empires until 1475, when it was finally incorporated in the Khanate of Crimea and the Ottoman Empire.
There is a theory that some Anglo-Saxons who left England after the Battle of Hastings in 1066 arrived in Constantinople in time to help the Byzantines repel an invasion. As a reward, the Byzantine emperor granted them lands near the Sea of Azov in what may have been the Crimean Peninsula.
By the 16th century, the existence of Goths in Crimea had become well known to European scholars. Many travelers visited Crimea and wrote about the Goths. One romantic report appears in Joachimus Cureus' Gentis Silesiae Annales in which he claims that during a voyage in the Black Sea, his ship was forced ashore by storms. There, to his surprise, he found a man singing a song in which he used "German words". When he asked him where he was from, he answered "that his home was nearby and that his people were Goths".
Several inscriptions from the early 9th century found in the area use the word "Goth" only as a personal name, not ethnonym. Meanwhile, some legends about a Gothic state in Crimea existed in Europe throughout the Middle Ages. In the 16th century, an Imperial envoy in Suleiman's court Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq reported having had a conversation with two Goths in Constantinople. He also left the Gothic-Latin dictionary with about a hundred Germanic words that share some traits in common with the ancient Gothic language.
Following the report by Busbecq, numerous European travelers went to visit Crimea, Torquatus visited Crimea in the mid- to late 16th century in which he reported the existence of Goths who spoke their own language, but used Greek, Tatar and Hungarian in dealing with outsiders.
In 1690, Kampfer states:
The language spoke in the Peninsula Crimea, or Taurica Chersonesus, in Asia, still retains many German words, brought thither, as is suppos'd by a colony of Goths, who went to settle there about 850 years after the Deluge. The late Mr. Busbeq, who had been Imperial Ambassador at the Ottoman Port, collected and publish'd a great number of these words in his fourth letter; and in my own travels through that Country I took notice of many more.
The first report of the Crimean Goths appears in the Vita of Saint Cyril, Apostle to the Slavs (Constantine the Philosopher) who went to Crimea to preach the gospel to the Khazars (c. 850). He lists "Goths" as people who read and praised the Christian God "in their own language". In 1606 Joseph Justus Scaliger claimed that the Goths of Crimea read both the Old and New Testaments "in the letters of Wulfila's alphabet". These are the only two reports which refer to the existence of a written form of Crimean Gothic, but also confirm their Christian faith.
While initially Arian Christians like other Gothic peoples, the Crimean Goths had converted to Chalcedonian Christianity by the 6th century. Following the split of Chalcedonian Christianity in the 11th century between the Roman and Orthodox branches, these peoples remained loyal to Constantinople as part of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In the 8th century John of Gothia, an Orthodox bishop, led an unsuccessful revolt against Khazar overlordship.
The language of the Crimean Goths is poorly attested with only 101 certain independent forms surviving, few of which are phrases, and a three line song, which has never been conclusively translated. Possible loan words are still used in Crimean Tatar though this too remains highly speculative.
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In 2015, five Gothic graffiti inscriptions were found by Andrey Vinogradov, a Russian historian, on stone plates excavated in Mangup in 1938, and deciphered by him and Maksim Korobov. The reading of these inscription was made difficult because they were later overwritten by some Greek graffiti.
The graffiti were scratched on two re-used fragments of early Byzantine cornice from the Mangup Basilica. The stone fragments on which the inscriptions were originally made were also probably reused later as part of the pavement, so they were also somewhat worn out. In any case, the full history of the use of these stones up to today is not entirely clear. The basilica that the stones belonged to was rebuilt several times through the centuries.
These Gothic inscriptions were written in the second half of the 9th century or in the first half of the 10th century - based on the dating of the later Greek graffiti.
There are numerous other sources referring to the existence of Goths in Crimea following Busbecq's report, though none providing details of their language or customs. The last known record of the Goths in Crimea comes from the Archbishop of Mohilev, Stanisław Bohusz Siestrzeńcewicz c. 1780, who visited Crimea at the end of the 18th century, and noted the existence of people whose language and customs differed greatly from their neighbors and who he concluded must be "Goths".
Despite no further records of the language's existence since the late 18th century, communities of Germanic peoples with distinctly separate customs and physical features have been recorded living in Crimea, leading some to believe that the Gothic language may have survived as a "haussprache" (home language) until as late as 1945.
According to the Soviet Ethnologist V.E. Vozgrin, the Goths interbred with the Crimean Tatars and converted to Islam. In The Crimean Tatars: the diaspora experience and the forging of a nation by Brian Glyn Williams, he quotes Vozgrin as saying: "In all probability their descendents are the Tatars of a series of villages in Crimea, who are sharply delineated from the inhabitants of neighboring villages by their tall height and other features characteristic of Scandinavians."
It is likely that the Goths had begun to speak Crimean Tatar and Crimean Greek from long before the arrival of Busbecq, thus they may well have integrated into the wider population, as later visitors to Mangup were unable to discover "any trace" of Gothic peoples.
Almost no signs of the Crimean Goths exist today. It was claimed by the Third Reich and by Adolf Hitler that the Crimean Goths had survived long enough to interbreed with later German settlers in Crimea, and that the German communities in Crimea constituted native peoples of that area. He had intended to re-settle German people to Crimea, and rename numerous towns with their previous Crimean Gothic names. During the Nazi occupation of Crimea, Sevastopol was changed to Theoderichshafen.
The Archdiocese of the Goths and the Northlands is an Eastern Orthodox church affiliated with the Russian True Orthodox Church (also known as "catacombists", a splinter group not to be confused with the Russian Orthodox Church).
It was established in 1994 in Moscow by Aleksey Sievers, who was ordained archbishop under the name Amvrosij (Ambrosius).
It has been a registered ecclesiastical and religious body in Sweden since 2008.
Ambrosius ordained a "Bishop of Gotland" in Sweden, Teodorik Sutter, in December 2011.
It claims apostolic succession through the Russian True Orthodox Church, and territorial jurisdiction deriving from the Metropolitanate of Gothia and Kaphas, the church of the Crimean Goths in the Principality of Theodoro. The Metropolitanate of Gothia was under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch until 1783, when, subsequent to the Russian conquest of the Crimea, it was transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church. The bishop's chair was left vacant starting in 1786. The Archdiocese of the Goths also claims territorial jurisdiction of Götaland, Sweden, based on the history of the christianization of Scandinavia.
It also claims to be the earliest Church authority in Scandinavia, with presence preceding the Ansgar mission, allegedly with the (now-ruined) St Laurentius Church in the island of Gotland.According to Aleksey "Ambrosius" Sievers, Christianity came to the Goths as early as the mid-1st century by a missionary journey of Andrew the Apostle, long before their conversion to Arianism under the episcopate of Ulfilas. "The 'eastern' ecclesiastical jurisdiction in Västergötland, Östgötaland and in Gotland was so obvious to anyone at the time that even Rome sent its missionary bishop, Saint Ansgar, to Svealand where Christianity in comparison was relativelly weak at that time. It's fairly realistic to speak of Old Gothic (Byzantine) and Celtic (a little later Anglo-Saxon) influence in Sweden, instead of Roman [...]".These claims run counter to the general 20th-century consensus of historians, but there is some more recent research which seems to corrobate that Christianity may have been present in Sweden earlier than previously thought, from as early as the 8th or 9th century, via Byzantine transmission.
This supposed cultural contact reflects the Viking Age (9th-century) Swedish expansion eastward, establishing the so-called Rus' Khaganate on the margins of the Byzantine sphere of influence.Bay of Arabat
The Bay of Arabat, (Ukrainian: Арабатська затока, Russian: Арабатский залив, Crimean Tatar: Arabat körfezi), is in the southwestern Azov Sea in eastern Europe.
It is located along the northwestern coast of the Kerch Peninsula and northeastern coast of Crimea.Crimea Air
Crimea Air was an airline on the grounds of Simferopol International Airport in Simferopol, Crimea. It was established and started operations on 4 October 1996 and operated regional feeder services. Its main base is Simferopol International Airport. Regional airline based in Simferopol was liquidated in 2007.Its IATA code has been since reassigned to Arkefly.Crimean Gothic
Crimean Gothic was a Gothic dialect spoken by the Crimean Goths in some isolated locations in Crimea until the late 18th century.East Germanic languages
The East Germanic languages, also called the Oder–Vistula Germanic languages, are a group of extinct Germanic languages family spoken by East Germanic peoples.
The only East Germanic languages of which texts are known are Gothic and its descendant, Crimean Gothic. Other languages that are assumed to be East Germanic include Vandalic and Burgundian, though very few texts in these languages are known. Crimean Gothic, the last remaining East Germanic language, is believed to have survived until the 18th century in isolated areas of Crimea.Gothia
Gothia is a name given to various places where the Goths lived during their migrations:
Dacia, referred to as Gothia during the fourth century
Götaland, the traditionally assumed, and possible, homeland of the Goths
the land of the Crimean Goths, referred to as Gothia by the Byzantines and Askuzai in Semitic sources (Hebrew: Ashkenaz).
Principality of Göttingen, deriving from the Gutingi Imperial palace of Saxon Emperors, which remained an alloidial capital of the House of Brunswick which they inherited from the Goths of the House of Billung.
Dukedom of Gotha now part of the Dukedom of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
Principality of Theodoro, deriving from the Crimean Goths
Septimania, land in southern France once inhabited by the Visigoths
Languedoc, larger modern provincial name for the Septimania land of Gothia.
Marca Hispanica, land in northern Spain whose inhabitants were considered Goths and not Franks in the 8th–10th centuries
Catalonia, the name being possibly derived from "Gothic land"Gothia may also refer to:
Gothia Cup, the world's largest annual association football cup by number of contestants, held in Gothenburg
Gothia Towers, a hotel in Gothenburg.
Arn de Gothia, a fictional medieval knight created by Jan Guillou
Gothia, a city on the Euphrates river in the Ramadi (district) of Iraq, between Hit and Ramadi
Metropolitanate of Gothia, a diocese of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the Middle AgesIrminones
The Irminones, also referred to as Herminones or Hermiones (Ancient Greek: Ἑρμίονες), were a large group of early Germanic tribes settling in the Elbe watershed and by the 1st century AD expanding into Bavaria, Swabia and Bohemia. Notably this included the large sub-group of the Suevi, that itself contained many different tribal groups, but the Irminones also for example included the Chatti.
Irminonic or Elbe Germanic is also therefore a term for one of the unattested dialect groups ancestral to the West Germanic language family, especially the High German languages, which include modern Standard German.Isthmus of Perekop
The Isthmus of Perekop (Ukrainian: Перекопський перешийок; translit. Perekops'kyy pereshyyok; Russian: Перекопский перешеек; translit. Perekopskiy peresheek Crimean Tatar: Or boynu, Turkish: Orkapı; Greek: Τάφρος; translit. Taphros) is the narrow, 5–7 kilometres (3.1–4.3 mi) wide strip of land that connects the Crimean Peninsula to the mainland of Ukraine. The isthmus is located between the Black Sea to the west and the Sivash to the east. The isthmus takes its name of Perekop from the Tatar fortress of Or Qapi.
The border between the Crimea republic and Ukraine's Kherson Oblast runs though the northern part of the isthmus. The cities of Perekop, Armyansk, Suvorovo and Krasnoperekopsk are situated on the isthmus. The North Crimean Canal ran through the isthmus, supplying Crimea with fresh water from the Dnieper River. The canal was closed by Ukraine in 2014, and the water supply was replaced by other local and Russian sources.
South of Perekop, there are rich salt ores which still are very important commercially for the region.John of Gothia
John of Gothia (Greek: ᾿Ιωάννης ἐπίσκοπος τῆς Γοτθίας, Iōánnēs epískopos tēs Gotthiás; ? - c. 791 AD) was a Crimean Gothic metropolitan bishop of Doros, and rebel leader who overthrew and briefly expelled the Khazars from Gothia in 787. He was posthumously canonized as an Eastern Orthodox saint.
John of Gothia was born to a Crimean Gothic family, the son of Leon and Fotina, in Partenit, Crimea, where he grew up to become a bishop. John went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and stayed there for three years. From there he became a bishop in Georgia in 758, until he returned to Gothia and became metropolitan bishop of Doros.
In 787 John led a revolt against Khazar domination of Gothia. The Khazar garrison and Tudun were expelled from Doros, and the rebels seized the mountain passes leading into the country. The Khazars however managed to retake the city in less than a year, and John was imprisoned in Phoulloi. He later managed to escape, and sought refuge in Amastris in the Byzantine Empire, where he died in 791. His remains were brought home to a church on the Ayu-Dag mountain, Partenit, Crimea, where a memorial to him has been built. John was posthumously canonized as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church. His memorial day is 26 June.List of cities in Crimea
This is a complete list of cities in Crimea by population at the 2014 Crimean Federal District Census.Mangup
Mangup (Russian: Мангуп, Ukrainian: Мангуп, Crimean Tatar: Mangup) also known as Mangup Kale (kale means "fortress" in Turkish) is a historic fortress in Crimea, located on a plateau about 9 miles due east of Sevastopol (ancient Chersones).
In early medieval times it was known as Doros (Greek: Δόρος) or Dory (Greek: Δόρυ) by the Byzantines, later it was given the Kipchak name Mangup.Marble Cave (Crimea)
Marble Caves (Russian: Мра́морная пещера, Ukrainian: Мармурова печера, Crimean Tatar: Mermer qobası, Мермер къобасы) is a cave in Crimea, at the lower plateau of Chatyr-Dag, mountainous massif. It is a popular tourist attraction being one of the most visited caves in Europe.
Due to its uniqueness, the Marble Cave became famous worldwide. Speleologists consider it among the top five most beautiful caves of the planet, and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Ukraine. In 1992, it was included in the International Association of equipped caves.Metropolitanate of Gothia
See Archdiocese of the Goths and the Northlands for the 1994 establishment in Sweden.The Metropolitanate of Gothia (also of Gothia and Caffa ; also known as the Eparchy of Gothia, in Russian Готская епархия, or as Metropolitanate of Doros, Доросская митрополия), was a diocese of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the Middle Ages.
Established in the 9th century, it was the church of the Crimean Goths and, at least in theory, of all the Christian population of the Khazar Khanate and later the Crimean Khanate.
The 9th-century Metropolitanate of Doros was centered in the Crimea, but it seems to have had dioceses further afield, as far east as the Caspian coast, but they were probably short-lived, as the Khazars converted to Judaism.
From the 13th century until the Ottoman conquest in 1475, the Metropolitanate of Gothia was within the Principality of Theodoro (known in Greek as Γοτθία Gothia).
In 1779, subsequent to the Russian conquest of the Crimea, it was transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church and disestablished a few years later.President of Crimea
The President of the Republic of Crimea (Ukrainian: Президент Республіки Крим; Russian: Президент Республики Крым) was the head of the state of the Republic of Crimea, Ukraine from February 16, 1994 to the time of its liquidation on March 17, 1995. The post was liquidated as it disagrees with the Constitution of Ukraine.The first round of voting in the Crimean presidential elections was held on January 16, 1994, and on January 30, the second round was held. With 72.9% of the vote, the pro-Russian politician Yuriy Meshkov was declared the winner. He was the only person to hold the post of President of the Republic of Crimea.Principality of Theodoro
The Principality of Theodoro (Greek: Πριγκιπάτο της Θεοδωρούς), also known as Gothia (Greek: Γοτθία) or the Principality of Theodoro-Mangup, was a Greek-speaking
principality in the south-west of Crimea. It represented both the final rump-state of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire and the last territorial vestige of the Crimean Goths until its conquest by the Ottoman Turks in 1475. Its capital was Doros, also sometimes called Theodoro and now known as Mangup. The state was closely allied with the Empire of Trebizond.Theophilus (bishop of the Goths)
Theophilus was a Gothic bishop who attended the First Council of Nicaea in 325 CE and was among those who signed the Nicene Creed. His name is also sometimes spelled Theophilas, such as Theophilas Gothiae, or Theophilos.
Although the original documents of the council have not survived, several versions of the list of bishops at Nicaea have been preserved. British Library owns a 6th-century manuscript of Antiochene Synodicon (BL Add. 14528, ff. 1r–151v), collection of Syriac translations of records from several councils, including a list of 220 Nicaean bishops, among them "Theophilus of Gothia". Another gothic bishop that attended the council was Cadmus of Bosporus, from the Crimea. The bishops of Gothia were likely under the bishop of Constantinople's jurisdiction.Theophilus ministered to communities of Gothic Christians, in either the area west of the Black Sea and along the lower Danube, according to most scholars, or in Crimea (on the northern coast of the Black Sea).
According to the "Ecclesiastical History" in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, one of Theophilus' disciples was the Gothic bishop Ulfilas, and since Ulfilas was among the Western Goths, this supports the position that Theophilus was from the area of the lower Danube, west of the Black Sea, with the bishop's seat at Tomi.
The Danube Goths, or Visigoths, were mostly pagans until Audius and Ulfilas spread the concept of Arianism in the 4th century, converting them to Christianity. He was succeeded as bishop by Ulfilas.Another disciple of Theophilus was Saint Nicetas the Goth, whose eulogy included "The sainted martyr of Christ, Nicetas, lived in the reign of the Great Tsar Constantine; he was a Goth by origin, from those who lived on the river Danube. Being pious and fearing God, and living in the city of Gatan, he was instructed in the Christian faith by Theophilus, the reverend bishop of Gothia."In Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church (1872) described Theophilus as a light-skinned man from the extreme north, among the "tawny hue and dark hair of all the rest."Vyalova cave
Vyalova cave (пещера Вялова) is a cave in a lower plateau of the Chatyrdag mountain, Crimea. It also has an 'old' name: Togerik-Alan-Hosar (Тогерик-Алан-Хосар).
The cave has a vertical entrance of 31 m depth, which gradually (at a depth about 16 m) transforms into a steep (almost vertical) shaft. The total depth of the cave is 124 m. It belongs to the Vyalova cave system.
The cave is named after Russian speleologist Vyalov.
History of the Germanic peoples
Early Middle Ages)